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Do psychedelics increase performance?

It has been referred to as “the hot new business trip” and “the drug habit your boss is going to love.” Now, between today’s endurance athletes and the historical precedence, there is some evidence that supports the claim that psychedelics can even enhance athletic performance. It is already being used in microdose amounts to enhance thinking in the high technology world and the creative world. Recently, there is an increasing claim that psychedelics are enhancing physical performance and affecting endurance.

There is of course no solid research as yet to provide a scientific link between the physical performance of endurance sports and psychedelics. But reports abound from those that want to share their experiences. Like this Reddit user microdosing LSD– “I find that I’m more focused and have better body awareness and just can go for longer, that nagging voice to stop isn’t there, yet at the same time I feel that I find it easier to listen to my body and I’m more compelled to pay attention to my running form. “The only drawback I found is that it raises my body temperature a little. Not as bad as with caffeine, but it’s noticeable.”

Another Reddit user in the same thread, also an athlete, describes completing a Spartan race on a microdose of LSD– “I found the obstacles a physical challenge, but mentally was able to zone in…Monkey bars were actually fun!”

What do these two testimonies have in common? The power of the mind. Change your mind and you change everything. You can change your performance. A new perspective makes all the difference.


Mind over Matter?

Reports indicate that performance could be enhanced with the use of psychedelics, through stimulation of dopamine receptors. Psychedelics, like dopamine, can help the endurance athlete remain focused under stress. This focus of attention is more than added stamina, this is about helping an athlete set their mind to it.

As you might imagine, the effect is more psychological than physical. There is much to be said about the mind’s ability to affect physical performance. Many athletes will mention how important it is to have the right “mindset” to carve off one-tenth of a second at the Olympics, compete at The Masters, or run the Boston marathon.

A 2006 sports medicine study on fatigue can shed light on this subject. It revealed that an increase in the central ratio of serotonin to dopamine accelerates the onset of fatigue. This evidence is supported by studies of the role of dopamine in amphetamine use.

The bottom line, more people are taking small amounts of psychoactive drugs like LSD, cannabis, and magic mushrooms, to enhance their athletic performance. The claim is that microdosing these substances makes you more creative lessens stress, and helps you perform better, whether in or out of the gym.


Can This Be Dangerous?

Some side-effects could make the use of psychedelics before or during endurance exercise, dangerous. Although no deaths have been directly linked, psychoactive drugs do produce effects that could be dangerous to those involved in sports requiring extended exertion like cycling, running, or swimming.

Much like those on a psychedelic drug who are convinced that they can fly because of superpowers, a performance athlete may believe that they are invincible and so push themselves beyond safe limits. The safest place for a psychedelic trip is your own home with a sitter, not on the side of a mountain.

Although microdosing isn’t exactly tripping, the person’s setting should be safe and supervised when including psychoactive substances with endurance exercise. It should be noted that there is no recognized definition of what constitutes microdosing. It is understood that an amount low enough to not feel any hallucinogenic effects defines a microdose.

In general, although psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin are considered physically safe, they should be used with caution. Finding the right dose is, at best, an inexact science. It is advisable to microdose under the supervision of a doctor, especially if you are combining a controlled substance with endurance exercise.


Zoomies Canada Wants You to Know

Zoomies Canada continues to always want you to take your journey with both eyes open. Be thoughtful and responsible as you move forward on this pursuit. Keep an open mind but proceed with good information and make smart decisions. Zoomies is here with all you need to know.


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